HealthBladder cancer: The silent threat overlooked by many men

Bladder cancer: The silent threat overlooked by many men

Don't think it's old age. That's how bladder cancer manifests.
Don't think it's old age. That's how bladder cancer manifests.
Images source: © Adobe Stock | triocean

1 July 2024 16:53

Bladder cancer occurs almost four times more frequently in men than in women. Between 15 and 25 percent of cases of this disease are detected only at an advanced stage because symptoms are often disregarded as natural signs of ageing.

The risk group is really large

According to data from the National Cancer Registry, approximately 8,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed in Poland each year. This problem mainly affects people in the prime of life. In 98 percent of cases, it affects men over the age of 45, and the risk of developing it increases with age.

Bladder cancer often develops in the form of malignant tumours. The most common case is cancer from the transitional epithelium, which lines the urinary tract and accounts for about 90 percent of all cases of this cancer.

The main factors contributing to the development of bladder cancer include exposure to chemical compounds (such as aromatic amines) in specific industrial sectors, including chemical, rubber, metallurgical, and gas industries. Stimulants are also unfavourable to this issue. Smoking plays a significant role, as do chronic bladder inflammation and genetic predispositions.

Symptoms of bladder cancer are often underestimated

Symptoms that should prompt us to diagnose bladder cancer include frequent urination, feeling the urge to urinate without passing urine, discomfort during urination, and the presence (often a tiny amount) of blood in the urine. Therefore, observing your urine is crucial.

These symptoms are often underestimated because they usually do not come with pain. They are attributed to ageing or stress. This is a mistake that frequently carries serious consequences.

Other symptoms accompanying bladder cancer include unexplained weight loss, bone pain, back pain, lower abdominal pain, and chronic fatigue and malaise. Back pain is most often located in the lumbar region.

Conducting appropriate diagnostics is essential because similar symptoms may be associated with urinary tract infections or, in the case of men, prostate cancer. Early detection of the disease is crucial for effective treatment. The curability of cancer decreases with the advancement of the disease.

It is recommended to perform a preventive abdominal ultrasound once a year to monitor health status and prevent the development of potential disease. This allows for the detection of early cancerous changes that may not yet show symptoms. Importantly, an ultrasound examination will also help exclude other abdominal ailments.

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